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A 50-year-old man in Victoria has been confirmed as the first Australian case of coronavirus

James Hennessy
  • The first case of coronavirus in Australia has been confirmed by health officials in Victoria.
  • A 50-year-old Chinese national arrived in Melbourne on January 19 after spending two weeks in Wuhan, where the SARS-like virus is believed to have originated.
  • Officials said the man has been quarantined and is undergoing treatment, with no other cases suspected at present.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.

Health officials have confirmed a 50-year-old man in Victoria is the first case of coronavirus in Australia.

The man, who arrived in Australia from Wuhan, China on January 19, is in a stable condition after being isolated and receiving treatment.

The Chinese national recently spent time in Wuhan, the city which is believed to be the source of the deadly SARS-like virus, which has infected over 1,200 people and killed at least 41.

Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos told reporters on Saturday that there are no other confirmed cases at present.

"It is important to stress that there is no cause for alarm to the community. The patient is isolated and is undergoing treatment and we do not have any further suspected cases at this stage," Mikakos said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mikakos stressed that it is not believed the man spent any time in public places, as he had been visiting relatives.

Several patients are currently being tested for coronavirus in New South Wales, but none of those cases have been confirmed. State deputy health chief Angie Bone said the man went to a doctor the day before presenting at hospital, but was sent away despite confirming he had been in China.

The coronavirus is believed to have originated in so-called "wet markets" in Wuhan, where live animals and "wild" meat are sold.

The first case was identified in China in December. The coronavirus' pneumonia-like symptoms include fever and difficulty breathing.

A number of cities in China have been quarantined since the outbreak was identified, cutting off at least 23 million people.

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